And who is my neighbor? (Luke 10:29)

IT’S A LEGITIMATE QUESTION. “Who is my neighbor?” Is it the person across the street? Next door? Down the block?

Jesus said His followers would be His “witnesses . . . to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). That seems to imply we should care about people in remote places, perhaps even inaccessible places. Or should we?

Someone observed that the reason we think “the ends of the earth” are across the ocean, somewhere on the other side of the world, is that we always start with ourselves. If we look at the world from God’s viewpoint, it may be that the “ends of the earth” are right next door, or across the street, or down the block.

In answer to the question about who is one’s neighbor, Jesus told the story of the good Samaritan, which teaches us to help the person with a need, regardless of ethnic background or where we happen to find the person. Such an individual might be someone you have never met before—like the poor man lying beside the road, bypassed by his own religious countrymen but rescued by a foreigner. Or it may be someone you already know.

Look around. Maybe someone on your street, in your school, in your office or other place of work needs a friend. Maybe they need a neighbor who really cares.

Ask God today to lead you to someone who needs an encouraging word.

Ron McClung lives in Fishers, Indiana, with his wife, Carol. They have been married for fifty-one years and have two sons and nine grandchildren.